BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art opens Ad Minoliti's first solo show in the UK

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BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art opens Ad Minoliti's first solo show in the UK
Ad Minoliti Biosfera, Peluche / Biosphere Plush installation view, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Photo: Rob Harris © 2021 BALTIC.

GATESHEAD.- BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead is presenting Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush, Ad Minoliti’s first solo show in the UK. In their work, Minoliti uses geometry and colour as a tool for creating alternative universes and speculative pictorial fiction influenced by feminist and queer thought. Trained as a painter, they draw on the rich legacy of geometric abstraction in Latin America, such as Argentina’s Arte Madí and the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención, both founded in 1945, which embraced playfulness in painting and painted on irregular shaped canvases, sometimes experimenting with three-dimensional objects.

Minoliti approaches painting as an expanded field that meets design and functionality, whilst considering the space of the gallery as a tri-dimensional canvas in which to explore a dialogue between modernism, science-fiction, animalism, fetish, queer feminism, nonableism, art education, toys, architecture, and design. They assume painting not as a mere material practice, but rather as a visual set of ideas to represent and investigate non-human heterotopias away from normative categories of sexuality and biology. Throughout their work, geometrical forms and hybrid scenery serve to imagine beyond-the-human settings in which queer feminism, the animal dimension and childhood can be applied to an open interpretation of painting, design, and art history beyond binary categorisations.

Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush has been conceived as a critical speculation of Biosphere 2, the world's largest Earth science experiment launched in 1984, in the Arizona desert. Funded by oil tycoon, Ed Bass, Biosphere 2 was created to study whether or not humans could create and sustain life in an artificial environment such as space stations. B2’s team tried – consequently failing – to isolate eight people (all white Americans and one European) for two years. This monumental experiment is a perfect example of the space race being an extractivist colonising endeavour, enhancing the interests of the already powerful – including major economic and military institutions – and exacerbating pre-existing detrimental processes such as wars, economic inequality, and environmental degradation.

Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush intends to work in the opposite direction to Biosphere 2. Its environment has been conceived as a community centre open to all, offering a space for intersectional feminist education and fantasy.

The exhibition features Minoliti’s ongoing project The Feminist School of Painting, transforming part of the gallery space into an active classroom. Through bi-weekly painting workshops, the school will deconstruct historical narratives and reimagine the traditional genre of landscape painting from a feminist, intersectional and queer perspective. In partnership with a multidisciplinary group of artists, academics, writers, and activists, the workshops will revaluate the structure of art education and promote accessibility, creativity and curiosity over any art-specific expertise.

Building on Minoliti’s interest of shedding light on feminist and queer artistic practice, the exhibition also includes an international library of queer and feminist zines, which will grow during the course of the exhibition. Ad Minoliti: Biosfera Peluche / Biosphere Plush is curated by Irene Aristizábal, Head of Curatorial and Public Practice. The exhibition is collaboration with Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours, France where Ad Minoliti will present a solo exhibition October 2021 – March 2022. A new monograph will be published in the Autumn in collaboration with CCCOD, Tours; Galerie Crêvecoeur, Paris; Galería Agustina Ferreyra, Puerto Rico; and Peres Projects, Berlin.

Ad Minoliti earned a BFA from the National Academy of Fine Arts P. Pueyrredón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They have been an agent at the Artistic Investigation Center of Argentina since 2009, year in which they also co-founded the group PintorAs, a feminist collective of Argentinian painters. They have won numerous prizes in Argentina and their work has been exhibited at galleries, institutions and museums worldwide. Recent exhibitions include the Bienal del Mercosur in Porto Alegre, the Aichi Triennal in Japan, Front Cleveland Triennal, Venice Biennale 2019 and Gwanju Biennale 2020.

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